Kohli’s century puts India in command
Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli (right) walks off the field with teammate Ajinkya Rahane at the end of the first day of their third cricket Test match against New Zealand in Indore, India, yesterday. INDORE, India (AP): VIRAT KOHLI hit his 13th Test century as India reached 267 for three at stumps on the opening day to take control of the third Test against New Zealand yesterday.
Kohli was 103 not out, and Ajinkya Rahane undefeated on 79, as the pair put on 167 runs for the fourth wicket.
It was a hard grind as New Zealand bowled and fielded with discipline in the 90 overs. But Kohli and Rahane didn’t give away chances with 119 runs coming in the final session.
Kohli faced 191 deliveries and hit 10 fours for his sixth hundred in 17 tests as India captain. Rahane reached his 50 off 123 balls, and hit nine fours and a six overall.
For the first time in this threematch series, India didn’t make too many mistakes on the first day. While it had frittered away advantageous positions in both Kanpur and Kolkata, Kohli and Rahane batted with calm and poise.
They played out time — even as the Black Caps restricted easy scoring opportunities — and now stand a good chance of batting New Zealand out of the match on the second day.
BAT AS LONG AS POSSIBLE
“The position we are in, we will try to bat as long as possible and get a big total tomorrow,” said Cheteshwar Pujara, who hit 41. “We will look to get at least 400 runs. And once we bowl, our spinners will have some assistance from this wicket and we will look to exploit that as the match progresses.”
New Zealand came close to ending the partnership when James Neesham hit the stumps directly as Kohli scampered across for his 100th run. But Kohli had safely made the crease, much to the delight of the crowd at Indore’s first day of Test cricket.
“I was at point and was pretty confident he’d drop and run to get it as quickly. So I took a couple of steps in, but Virat made ground quite comfortably,” Neesham said.